Child support touches the lives of 1 in 3 children in Ohio, and it promotes child well-being and family self-sufficiency. “Reliable child support has a positive effect on children's achievement in school, and appears to have a greater impact on children dollar for dollar than other types of income.” Vicky Turetsky, Commissioner, Office of Child Support Enforcement
The Wayne County CSEA provides comprehensive family support services, including establishment of paternity, establishment and modification of child support and medical orders, and case management services such as enforcement of family support orders, and location of non-residential parents.
Paternity establishment refers to the legal determination of being named as the father of a child. The paternity establishment process is available at any time before the child turns 23 years of age. It can be established in the following ways:
The voluntary acknowledgment process refers to completion of a form known as an “Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit.” You can complete this at the hospital when your child is born, before both parents leave the hospital. It can also be completed at the CSEA or your local Vital Statistics Registrar.
If a case is contested or if there is some doubt as to the parentage of the child, either parent may request that the CSEA conduct genetic testing to determine the father of the child. The CSEA will then order all parties to submit to genetic testing and will issue an administrative paternity order based on the outcome of the genetic test. For a paternity order to be established, the test must show at least a 99% probability of fatherhood. If you are giving birth at either the Wooster Community Hospital or the Dunlap Community Hospital, you can talk to the nurses and request that the Wayne County CSEA come to the hospital to start the testing process.
If either party fails to submit to the test or fails to submit the child for genetic testing, the CSEA may initiate court proceedings to determine the paternity of the child.
Watch a video on the Paternity Establishment Process in Ohio at www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpnW8CmYUhE&feature=plcp
Additional information regarding establishing paternity via the acknowledgment of paternity affidavit or genetic testing is available at:
The establishment of a child support order is important for the well-being of a child. A child support order determines the financial and medical support responsibilities of the parents. A support order may be established administratively, where the parties appear before a hearing officer at the CSEA, or judicially, where the parties go through the court process.
At an administrative support establishment hearing, the hearing officer listens to any testimony and completes the Ohio Child Support Guidelines to determine the amount of child support and cash medical support that the non-residential parent (obligor) will be ordered to pay, and to determine who will be ordered to provide health insurance coverage for the children. Once the administrative child support order is issued, both parties have a right to file with the court to object to the order.
Child support orders can be reviewed by the CSEA every 36 months, or sooner if there is a qualifying change in circumstances. Either parent or guardian can ask for a change in the order.
When the CSEA reviews the support order, a CSEA employee looks at the financial information of both parents to determine whether or not the child support and medical order should be changed. The CSEA will calculate the support obligations of the parents using the Ohio Child Support Guidelines. Based upon these calculations, the CSEA may recommend that the support amount go up, go down or remain the same. The CSEA may also recommend adding or changing provisions for the child(ren)'s health care needs through health insurance and/or cash medical obligations.
Watch a video on the Review and Adjustment Process in Ohio at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY-leBgZpMc.
For more information about the review and adjustment process, including the form needed to apply for a change to the support order, please visit jfs.ohio.gov/Ocs/ReviewandAdjustment_Overview.stm
The Wayne County CSEA manages approximately 7,000 family support cases and collects nearly $16 million of support each year for the families it serves. Once an order for child support, medical support or spousal support is established, the CSEA can provide support enforcement services.
Nearly 75% of support collected is collected through income withholding orders. The CSEA or the court may send an income withholding order to an employer, or other source of income, and require that the employer deduct the support obligation from the parent's income. The employer, or other source of income, i.e., banks, unemployment compensation, workers' compensation, social security, etc., deducts the specified amount each pay period and sends the payment to the Ohio Child Support Payment Central (OCSPC).
If the parent ordered to pay support is unemployed, it is important that the parent be able to find and keep a job so that they can support themselves and their children. The CSEA can work with parents who are seeking employment and can make referrals to local resources that provide employment services. Locally, the Wayne County CSEA partners with the Wayne County Department of Job and Family Services and the Wayne County ABLE program to provide assistance with obtaining gainful employment.
The CSEA may also utilize enforcement measures such as license suspension, contempt of court proceedings, credit reporting, and intercepting monies from bank accounts, tax refunds, lottery winnings, and lump sum payments in an effort to collect regular and consistent support. In addition, the U.S. State Department will deny a passport if more than $2,500 in back due child support is owed. Criminal actions may be initiated against parents who fail to support their children and who are chronically delinquent in their support obligations.
The CSEA may also locate parents and their income and assets by using available information, local resources, and the highly computerized State and Federal Parent Locator Services (FPLS).
The CSEA may provide additional services, such as terminating the support order when a duty to provide support no longer exists.
The CSEA is unable to provide assistance with the following services:
Parenting time is an important part of strengthening and nurturing the parent-child relationship. The Ohio Supreme Court offers a new resource, Planning for Parenting Time—Ohio's Guide for Parents Living Apart. This easy-to-use guide fosters fair and creative parenting schedules.
View the guide (pdf).
Please seek legal counsel if you have questions or concerns about these issues. For information about custody or parenting time (visitation) clinics available through the Legal Aid Society, contact (800)998-9454. You may also contact area bar associations to obtain information and referrals to speak to an attorney, such as the Wayne County Bar Association at www.waynecountybarassociation.com or the Akron Bar Association at (330) 253-5038, 1(866) 687-5297, or www.akronbar.org. You may also speak to a volunteer attorney on the 2nd and 4th Friday of each month between 9:00-11:00 am by calling the Akron Bar Association's Ask an Attorney line at (330) 253-5007.
For more information on the services offered by the child support program, please visit the website of the Ohio Office of Child Support at
You can request that the Wayne County CSEA review your support order for no cost every 36 months or sooner if you've experienced a qualifying change in circumstances.